Real Estate Market

April 2017 News

Housing Report

Note: National Association of Realtors® (NAR) data for April is based on February data.

Following an incredibly brisk sales pace to start the year, February's existing home sales slowed but remained above levels seen a year ago, both nationally and in each major region, according to data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Total existing-home sales, which count transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.7% to 5.48 million in February from January's 5.69 million. Still, February's slower sales pace is 5.4% higher than the sales activity seen one year ago during the same period.

Existing Home Sales By Region

Addressing the reason for February's slower sales, NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, pointed to widespread low inventory and weakening affordability conditions around the United States. "Realtors® are reporting stronger foot traffic from a year ago, but low supply in the affordable price range continues to be the pest that's pushing up price growth and pressuring the budgets of prospective buyers," Yun said.

Housing Data Takeaways

  • February's median price for existing homes (all housing types) was $228,400, up 7.7% from February 2016 ($212,100). February's price rise was the steepest since last January (8.1%) and represents 60 straight months of year-over-year increases.
  • Total U.S. housing inventory at the end of February grew 4.2% to 1.75 million existing homes available for sale, however this is 6.4% lower than a year ago (1.87 million) and has dipped year-over-year for 21 consecutive months. Unsold inventory shows a supply of 3.8 months at the current sales pace (vs. 3.5 months in January).
  • First-time buyers in February drove 32% of sales activity nationally, a slight drop from 33% in January but  a bit above the 30 percent seen at this time last year. NAR's 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed the annual share of first-time buyers last year was 35 percent.
  • Regarding mortgage rates, Freddie Mac data shows the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage moved slightly higher in February, to 4.17% from January's 4.15%. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65%.
  • How long did properties remain on the market in February? Nationally, it was 45 days, down from 50 days in January and noticeably more than last year (59 days). This number will vary by region, naturally.

What's the best strategy for buyers this spring? NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, says being fully prepared is the right strategy for prospective buyers. "Seek a pre-approval from a lender, know what your budget is and begin discussions with a Realtor® early on about your housing wants and needs," he said. "Homes in many areas are selling faster than they were last spring. A buyer's idea of a dream home in a popular neighborhood is probably the same as many others. That's why they'll likely have to decide quickly if they see something they like and can afford."

How's Your Selling Strategy?

Sellers, you have an excellent opportunity to sell your home this season -- if you have the right pricing strategy in place from the start! Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net upon the sale.

It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value at the signing of your listing contract. In some places, the market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell. And in some of today's particularly hot markets where we're seeing bidding wars, you still want to work with your agent to set the right starting price from the outset to give yourself every advantage.

An Overpriced Home:
· Minimizes offers
· Decreases agents response
· Limits qualified buyers
· Decreases showings
· Decreases prospects
· Limits financing
· Wastes advertising dollars
· Nets less for the seller

When you are ready, contact us today for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!

The Best Mortgage

Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you to get the best financing deal. A mortgage - whether it's a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan - is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You'll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free brochure to help guide you through this process. Download a free copy today, and please contact us for a list of preferred mortgage professionals in our area. Our experience can be a big advantage for you when it comes to finding the right mortgage professional and then getting the right mortgage for your situation.

Contact Information

Jan McNulty
RE/MAX Suburban
330 E. Northwest Highway
Mount Prospect IL 60056
847-274-0535
Fax: 847-259-0175